sunday (a thousand weeks ago) was our last full day in galveston. we left the hotel at a decent hour and dropped me by the kroger to get my first specimens of jarred baby food. we had decided to throw out the remaining baby food i had prepared at home and carefully transported with us only to have a defunct tiny fridge in the room that did a piss poor job of chilling anything.
we arrived to a nearly empty parking lot at moody gardens. i figured a giant pyramidal rainforest and a giant pyramidal aquarium would be the shining jewels in the baby's galveston crown. they would be a smorgasbordet of visual wonder. my first clue that this might not be the case came when brian had to poo before we had even made it into the rainforest and oliver and i stood gazing at this little rainforest room behind glass that was a little preview of the grandeur to come and oliver was standing directly on the other side of the glass from these three pelican-type characters that were as big as he and his attention was fully invested in the leaves of a potted plant in the hallway.
daddy stopped pooping and we went on in. it was pretty impressive from what i saw when i wasn't busy trying to keep a toddler from falling through the meager railing into the koi pond or trying to assuage a toddler's anger at not being allowed to nearly fall through the meager railing into the koi pond or not being allowed to walk over the rocks into the tank with fish as big as i am because there was no way i wanted to jump in after him or not being allowed to go generally bananas. there was a creepy guy in there who was an employee. he was either born with mental incapacities, acquired mental incapacities at some point in his life, or did a lot of drugs. he was telling us to watch out for this one bad bitch of a large bird that likes to chase you down and bite you. we finally managed to squeeze away from him and his rainforest chatter and go look at some bats and what not.
we didn't stay long as oliver was totally losing his cool. we strapped him into the back seat of the focus and, after trying to get him to eat some of the stranger-made jarred baby food, spent a super long time driving to the lone taco bell on the far end of the island so that he could hopefully nap away some of his toddler fury. we ate burritos in the car and drove back to the other end of the island.
back at the moody gardens with the moody baby, we entered the aquarium pyramid. this was my favorite and i immediately decided that if my life had gone differently and i had been living in galveston, i would have been the owner of a season pass so that i could spend unnecessary amounts of time sitting in the aquarium pyramid. oliver took an immediate interest in this wooden starfish attached to the wall. he did his best to dismantle it and when he decided he couldn't because brian had kind of pried him away from it, he decided he loved each and every light installed a foot off the floors lining the pathway. forget the large, exotic fish and the neon-colored anemones and corals. forget the seals swimming back and forth right up to your face and the penguins floating belly down in the water six inches away from you. forget about spiraling deeper and deeper into the tank until you were walking through a plastic tube surrounded by water with sharks swimming over your head and willies traveling down your arms and a six foot long tortoise drifting along and a large eel-type monster that looked made up. that baby was busy examining the informational plaques and the a/c vents installed in the floor. he tried out the shark cage all on his own and i decided it would be ideal having one of those at home.
we went back to the hotel so we could all nap a little and then headed back out to the seawall to find the surrey purveyor. we found one and they purveyed the ricketiest surreys on the beach and it did have fringe on top with red and white stripes. we put oliver's helmet on him and strapped him on to the little bench in front of us. i got to steer. we clanked down the sea wall for a good twenty minutes and it required much more exertion then i was hoping for. oliver seemed to be having a bang up time when, all of a sudden, he started turning around and whining. he pulled his left leg up and was trying his darndest to get his other out so he could spin all the way around. we put our surrey to a stop and got him out. well, shit, now what?
i switched seats with brian so he could steer god help us and i could hold oliver god help us. because he wasn't going back on that bench. i peddled as best i could, but that baby was squirming something fierce and was completely prepared to plop right off the moving surrey. he was crying and fretting and i was starting to steam and couldn't pedal anymore for fear of us falling right off the side. we made it back in one piece and decided dining out might not be the best idea. we drove down to the strand and went into the greek restaurant i had peeked into during the yaga's cafe meltdown. we ordered a blessed amount of take out which came in an unfortunate stack of styrofoam boxes and went back to the hotel to stuff our faces. the baby loved the baba ghanouj. who doesn't? except brian?
it was our last night and brian went out on to the balcony. i decided to eschew getting to bed early and grabbed a beer to go out with him. we didn't play any games, but we did get our one night sitting on the balcony with beers. for however long it lasted. next to a sack of stinky dirtypants.
we managed to get everything packed up monday morning and were out of there before check out time. we dropped by the strand one last time thinking some shops might be open, but they weren't. we grabbed some coffees at mod cafe and walked the block before getting back in the car and heading for houston. for grins, we stopped at the hobbit cafe and sat out on the patio. i had the best eggplant and zucchini enchiladas i've never had. oliver even liked them.
then we sat in the inevitable, inscrutable houston traffice for 45 minutes before really getting our trip home underway. babypants pretty much slept the whole way, thank god.
next on the vacation hot list: mexico city!